High flying investments that are fueling flyover – September 13, 2019


Overachievers in Flyover country

Superstitious about Friday the 13th? Get your mind on some positive things

Today’s itinerary: The USDA is moving some of its operations to Kansas city; Grand Rapids company is acquired; grant to study strokes in newborns; nonprofits chosen by a Richmond accelerator; trivia and more!

September 13, 2019


USDA to move some operations to KC

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is moving two of its departments to Kansas City—Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

According to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA cost-benefit analysis indicated the move will save the department nearly $300 million over 15 years.

“The [move to the] Kansas City Region will allow ERS and NIFA to increase efficiencies and effectiveness and bring important resources and manpower closer to all of our customers,” Perdue said. “We did not undertake these relocations lightly, and we are doing it to enhance long-term sustainability and success of these agencies. … The considerable taxpayer savings will allow us to be more efficient and improve our ability to retain more employees in the long run.”

Officials say that it is also a good idea to have the bureaucrats living and working with the people who are impacted by their decisions.

There are critics of relocating federal agencies outside of the nation’s capital. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) says moving federal agencies without explicit congressional authorization violates various laws. He plans “to explore all options to reverse USDA’s decision.”

MN Med School gets grant from NIH

Although many people assume that strokes occur only in adults, infants can have strokes too, especially at the time of birth. According to John Hopkins Medicine, as many as one in 4,000 newborns are affected by stroke every year. These strokes can cause perinatal brain injury, one of the main causes of cerebral palsy.

Now Bernadette Gillick, PhD, MSPT, PT, professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has received an exploratory/developmental grant to study perinatal brain injuries caused by stroke.

The grant, from the National Institutes of Health and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, will help Gillick further her research into the effects of stroke on infants.

Using “novel neurophysiologic and computational tools,” researchers hope to learn more about infant brain activity following injury, with the aim of developing early interventions that may reduce or prevent motor impairment.

Meanwhile, we're just trying to learn how to pronounce "neurophysiologic."

Grand Rapids Michigan: PRO-VISION acquired

 JMC Capital Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, has snapped up PRO-VISION, a designer and manufacturer of mobile video technologyThe fast-growing PRO-VISION, based in Grand Rapids, MI, makes camera systems for commercial, transit, and police applications. We’re talking cameras and video recording systems for school buses, city buses, taxi services, police cars, body cams, and driver and fleet safety cams.

It should surprise nobody that mobile video is seeing explosive growth and there is huge demand for products that let users record and play back video in the event of an incident or accident. Accordingly, PRO-VISION has been making the lists of fastest-growing technology companies by the likes of Inc. Magazine and Deloitte for several years running.

The acquisition seems like a good buy for JMC, which touted PRO-VISION’s ability to have a positive impact on public safety. It’s also no doubt good business now that we’re all living in the future, where the revolution WILL be televised and we’ll all be smiling because we’re always on candid camera.

Nuvest Ventures acquires Lucky Tackle Box

Photo by Lum3n.com from Pexels 

Lucky Tackle Box, a subscription service that delivers a box o’ baits and lures each month, was recently acquired by private equity firm Nuvest VenturesAccording to a press release, the goals of the acquisition are to “improve customer service, satisfy increasing market demands, and advance the Lucky Tackle Box brand.” Financial terms were not disclosed, and a new management team has taken over operations.

Lucky Tackle Box is also ramping up its digital presence and intends to improve the user experience with support from Columbus, OH-based digital strategist wowbrands.

Curious to know what you get in a Lucky Tackle Box? The company currently offers three collections—(Regular, XL, and Tournament), which include from five to 16 baits per box. You can choose your preferred type of fishing: bass, crappie/panfish/trout, walleye, etc. And LTB offers several payment options, from month-to-month to three-, six- and 12-month auto ship. The company’s website offers tips, videos, and reviews as well. So if you want to know how to save a snagged lure, catch giant bass like a pro, or prospect for trout, LTB has you covered.

Illinois-based AAR announces fat contract to provide two 737s to the USMC

In the 1950s, a man named Ira Allen Eichner borrowed a few hundred bucks from his fiancée and launched a company that supplied equipment to the emerging commercial aviation industry. From those humble beginnings, Allen Aircraft Radio (now called AAR Corp) grew into a massive enterprise that supplies aviation services to commercial and government customers in more that 100 countries and has a global workforce of about 6,000 people.

And now, the company has announced that it has secured a $118.6 million contract with the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to deliver “two 737 aircraft and associated support equipment” to the US Marine Corps (USMC).

AAR will provide parts distribution from its Wood Dale, IL, headquarters, with engineering being performed in Indy, and maintenance/modification services being handled in Oklahoma City and Miami.

Nick Gross, AAR senior vice president of government solutions, praised the project, saying, “Our engineered approach seamlessly delivers a comprehensive solution from across AAR's businesses that combines best practices from our industry-leading repair, engineering services and supply chain solutions.”

Richmond accelerator chooses 3 nonprofits to join program

NPO Launchpad is Richmond’s first accelerator dedicated solely to nonprofits. The accelerator, co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Pat Hull and Jeff Palumbo, is designed to assist early-stage nonprofits with fundraising, growing donor bases and connecting with community partners.

Along with mentorship, NPO Launchpad will supply coworking office space and support with public relations, social media, software, accounting and cybersecurity.

In a statement, Hull said that the nonprofits chosen for the next three-month program “each presented specific challenges for which NPO Launchpad believes can positively impact in a short period of time.”

The nonprofits chosen are:

Beyond Boundaries, founded by native Richmonders Kyle Burnette and Shep Roeper. offers individuals with disabilities the opportunity to experience outdoor activities in the surrounding community.

Shood, launched in 2017, collects gently used running shoes, reconditions them and distributes them to those who are homeless or living in poverty in Richmond.

VET Fund provides financial support to pet owners facing financial hardships because their pets require life-saving veterinary treatment.


Name that Flyover city!

We're going completely random on you today!

  1. This city was the birthplace of the first elected African-American governor.
  2. What city is often called the "Smithsonian of the South"?
  3. What city has the nickname “Toilet Paper Capital of the World”?

We know you gotta know about that toilet paper thing. Click here to find out


  • Middle Bit: Insurtech leaders will gather in Des Moines next month for InsurTech Week (Clay and Milk)
  • Columbus, Ohio-based auto insurance startup Root Insurance has raised $350 million at a $3.5 billion pre-money valuation (Crunchbase)
  • $27 Million Grant to North Carolina State University to focus on the future of biomanufacturing (NC State

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